9 Roses [Photo by Burke Bischoff]

Where to Enjoy Pressed Vermicelli in Greater New Orleans

07:00 February 16, 2024
By: Burke Bischoff

Pressed for Success

The Greater New Orleans area has seen a multitude of amazing Vietnamese restaurants establish themselves here since the 1970s. More often than not, when patrons visit these establishments, they'll usually find four staple dishes on the menus: phở (a noodle soup), bún (a noodle salad bowl), bánh mì (basically a Vietnamese po-boy), and gỏi cuốn (spring rolls). These dishes are perhaps the most widely familiar plates associated with Vietnam, but there a number of GNO restaurants that incorporate lesser-known dishes such as, for example, bánh hỏi.

Originating from Vietnam's Bình Định Province, according to Tuổi Trẻ Online, bánh hỏi can also be called woven or pressed vermicelli, patties, or squares. As the name implies, the dish involves rice vermicelli noodles that are either woven into rolled bundles or pressed into squares. These noodles are served with a choice of protein, along with typically scallions, roasted onions, and/or peanuts on top, and comes with a side dish of, usually, lettuce, cilantro, mint leaves, pickled carrots and daikon, sliced cucumbers, and nước chấm (fish sauce). An appropriate way to eat the dish involves wrapping the noodles, protein, and desired toppings in the lettuce and dipping it into the fish sauce.

Despite seeming like a straightforward dish, bánh hỏi is surprisingly not as wide spread like phở and bánh mì and can be only really be found in New Orleans East and Jefferson Parish. So to ease the burden of trying to hunt around for it, here are eight local restaurants that serve bánh hỏi in the GNO.

Local Restaurants that Offer Bánh Hỏi

1. 9 Roses

1100 Stephens St., Gretna, (504) 366-7665, ninerosesrestaurant.com

9 Roses, first stated by Mama Tu and currently owned by Jeff and Lang Nguyen, is a popular Westbank establishment that has been serving Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine for around 25 years. The restaurant's pressed vermicelli squares can be ordered with chargrilled pork, ground pork, chargrilled beef, or chargrilled chicken for $15 or chargrilled shrimp or shrimp paste and wrapped sugarcane for $17.

For an extra $2, customers can also add bánh tráng (rice paper) to their order so that they can make their own spring rolls. For anyone with a big appetite or looking to share with others, larger bánh hỏi orders can be made for an extra $5.

2. August Moon

875 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, (504) 302-7997, augustmoonharvey.com

August Moon [Photo by Burke Bischoff]

Another tasty Vietnamese/Chinese establishment is August Moon, which has locations in both New Orleans and Harvey. In order to try their bánh hỏi, interested eaters will need to cross the Crescent City Connection and visit the Manhattan Boulevard location.

For $19, patrons at August Moon can get their pressed vermicelli with chargrilled pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, or nem nướng, which is grilled pork sausage. The restaurant can also provide rice paper, if desired.

3. Ba Mien Restaurant

13235 Chef Menteur Hwy. Suite C, (504) 255-0500, bamien.com

Located in New Orleans East, Ba Mien was founded by Mai Nguyen in 2001 and incorporates dishes from Vietnam's three main regions: Northern, Central, and Southern Vietnam. In fact, ba mien, according to the restaurant's website, means "three regions" in Vietnamese.

Customers can order pressed vermicelli there with either grilled pork or grilled pork paste for $13.50. Consider pairing the noodles with cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk) or one of Ba Mien's different flavored boba drinks.

4. Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant

14207 Chef Menteur Hwy., (504) 254-0214, dpbakery.com

Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant [Photo by Burke Bischoff]

Another New Orleans East staple is James Beard Award-winning Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant. New Orleanians are all too familiar with the bakery's delicious bánh mìs and incredible king cake, but the restaurant portion of the business offers all kinds of other treats to enjoy.

Dong Phuong's vermicelli rolls can come with Vietnamese sausage or grilled tofu for $12.50, grilled pork, chicken, or beef for $14, or grilled shrimp or Korean short ribs for $15. The restaurant also allows customers to choose up to two items for their bánh hỏi if they want to mix and match.

5. Pho Orchid

Multiple Locations, pho-orchid.getbento.com

Pho Orchid, with two locations in Metairie, has a tasty and varied menu of Vietnamese and other Asian classics. In addition to phở, bún, and bánh mì, customers can also find dumplings, crab Rangoon, shrimp tempura, and more.

Choose from tofu, grilled pork, pork patties, chicken, shrimp, or lemongrass beef bánh hỏi for $12.95. Shrimp wrapped in sugar cane is available for $13.95, Korean beef is available for $14.95, and all dishes can have rice paper added for $2 extra.

6. Pho Sunrise Vietnamese Cuisine

2305 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Kenner, (504) 469-0468, facebook.com/phosunrise

Located right by the Louis Armstrong International Airport, Pho Sunrise is the perfect place to visit either before heading out of state or when arriving in New Orleans. The restaurant offers good quality Vietnamese dishes at affordable prices.

Order Pho Sunrise's pressed vermicelli with grilled pork, grilled pork paste, or grilled chicken for $12.95 or shrimp or beef for $13.95. Consider ordering some iced, sweet, or hot jasmine tea to go with the dish.

7. Tan Dinh

1705 Lafayette St., Gretna, (504) 361-8008, tandinhnola.com

Tan Dinh [Courtesy of Tan Dinh's Website]

A really popular spot to visit on the Westbank for Vietnamese cuisine is Tan Dinh. This bistro prepares as much of its menu from scratch as possible and the difference in taste is very noticeable.

For $19, Tan Dinh's bánh hỏi can come with egg rolls, charbroiled pork, grilled chicken, charbroiled shrimp, and/or lemongrass pork skewers. Charbroiled Korean beef short ribs are also available for $25.

8. Three Happiness

1900 Lafayette St., Gretna, (504) 368-1355, threehappiness.com

Started in 1993, Three Happiness is a great restaurant with a comfortable, unassuming atmosphere. With a six-paged menu filled to the brim with Vietnamese and Chinese specialties, customers are bound to find something they'll really enjoy while there.

Three Happiness' bánh hỏi are listed in the menu under "Sides" and can come with charbroiled pork, grilled pork meatballs, and shrimp balls with sugar cane for around $10.95. Patrons can even get their pressed vermicelli with all three proteins for an upcharge.

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